Use of Fibre Optics in Substations to Detect Noise
National Grid Electricity System Operator
National Grid TO Innovation Team
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Innovation Funding Incentive
BT have used this technique with Network Rail and it is now in production and
has proved very useful for the location of trains by triangulation from the sound
source, Improving the safety at farm railway crossings (determining when next
train will be) and fault diagnosis of trains whilst running on the track (diction of
square wheels by analysing the sound footprint) and detection of copper thefts.
It is believed this system can be tailored to suite a number of applications some
of which may only transpire during the project.
To implement a pilot trial and asses the benefits and limitations of optic fibre
sensing in a Substation Environment for asset management and operational
This project will deliver a fibre optic cable at Bolnely 400kV substation which will
be routed around part of the perimeter fence and in the near vicinity of at least
one 400/132kV SGT, a 13kV tertiary reactor, a 400kV air blast circuit breaker
and other switchgear.
This fibre will be lit using a sensor which has been developed by BT which uses the fibre to detect audible sounds. The data from this will
be sent across an internet connection back to a BT server to analyse the noise
signatures on site.